Just because you’re no longer thirteen years old doesn’t mean you can’t have a grown-up sleep over party! BUT instead of going to your bestie’s house for a night of PJs and boy talk, you and your pinky-swearing girlfriends should rent a house! A nice one. Y’all know I’m the first one to reserve a suite in a gorgeous hotel, especially one where I can be pampered and wined and dined, but nothing beats rolling your LV into the foyer of a palatial crib in the Hollywood Hills—infinity pool and all—with your girlfriends in tow. Let the shrieking begin! BUT, before all the excitement can pop like a bottle of Dom P, here are three things you need to know before renting a vacation home:
- Flexibility is key: You want to have the best vacation, obviously. That means you and your girls have got to know what you want before going in. Is an infinity pool a must? (I think, yes! This is my vacation. I want the best!) Do you want a house close to shops and cafes so that you can walk to coffee in the morning, or do you want a private hide-away in the woods where peace is THE number one goal? Get clear on the wants so that you can then be flexible when you’re considering the options. If peace is key, can you be flexible knowing that a penthouse in a high-rise can be as quiet as the woods because it is away from everything and is set up like a private oasis the moment you walk in the door? Then, great. Peace is achieved. Get a planning meeting together with your girls, and look at your wants and boundaries of flexibility.
- Be a leader: Speaking of meeting with your girls. You can’t rule by committee on this thing. It will get annoying real quick, especially if you have more than three friends going! Figure out a way to either be the leader or appoint one. I find that when you have a group of like-minded, positive-thinking women together, they can be pretty rational on decision-making and allowing someone to take the reins. I have one friend who really just likes to be told where to go and when. She likes to trust us and loves to just show up. Personalities like that make planning a cinch. If your girls are like the Real Housewives, well. Good luck.
- Know from whom you’re renting: Don’t just rent from anyone. If you’re using a service like Vrbo.com or Airbnb.com, you’ll get a feel for your renter based on their profile and perhaps reviews left by previous renters. With a private owner where you’re not using the filter of an app, things can be a little different. Do as much research as you can, have as many phone conversations (phone, not email) as you can to catch nuances of personality and business style so that there are no darn surprises. And, you know this one: have a contract, have a contract, have a contract.